March 10, 2017
Breaking Ranks on HF517
The March 7th House vote on HF517, the Omnibus Gun-Owner Bill, saw the bill passed 58-39. Two Republicans, Reps. Heaton & Bergan, voted against the bill, and two Democrats, Reps. Ourth and Bearinger, voted for HF517.
The left leaning Iowa politics blog Bleeding Heartland recently posted the following statements from Representative Scott Ourth about why he broke from the rest of the Democrats and voted in favor of HF517 (we’ve placed the critical statement in bold). These statements are extremely telling and we commend these Representatives on listening to their constituents
The bill, in its original form, was absolutely horrible, and I was a definite “no” vote. What worried me was that the bill was going to pass in a form that would have been very dangerous, especially to children, college campuses, etc.
Knowing that Rep. Windschitl was eager to show at least some bipartisanship on the bill, I sat down with him in an attempt to pull back on some of the extreme measures and add safety measures back in. In the end, I was able to get parental supervision redefined to mean close physical proximity conducive to hands-on instruction.
Also, we got background checks at private gun sales put back in, along with a ban on firearms on college campuses and permits to obtain and to carry.
In the end, I supported the bill for two reasons: I was invested in making the bill infinitely better (something way worse would have passed were it not for my collaborative efforts).
Also, once the bill was modified I voted yes because it was representative of the wishes of the vast majority of the folks in my district. I got hundreds emails and phone calls urging me to vote “yes” and hardly any asking me to resist. So, in the end, I voted my district after crafting a bill that was far and away safer and more reasonable than what would have passed with out my offer of bipartisanship.
NOTE: Rep. Ourth’s comment referring to background checks at private gun sales is in reference to Iowa’s Permit to Acquire system. An initial version of HF517 did away with the Permit to Acquire system all together. The House ultimately decided to keep the Permit to Acquire but lengthen it from one to five years. This Permit to Acquire extension is the only change to private gun sales in HF517.
Bleeding Heartland also posted a statement from Representative (D) Bruce Bearinger about why he chose to vote yes on the bill:
I worked with representative Ourth on the amendment to insure that parents had to be in proximity to the child to provide safety training to their child. In addition, they removed parts of the bill relating to college campuses, open carry, and permitting. I had some concerns with the final bill, but overall, it was consistent with the correspondence I had with many of my constituents. I rely on our democratic caucus analysis of legislation and have always found it to be valuable, but ultimately I rely on my own values and the extensive work I do to stay in tune with the desires and beliefs of my constituents in my rural district.
Time for Thanks
Below is the list of who voted in favor of HF517 when it passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives on March 7th. These 58 Representatives deserve your thanks for voting to protect and enhance the Second Amendment rights of all Iowans.
It’s important that you take a moment to thank these legislators. Our side does an outstanding job of letting them know what we want (“pass this bill” -OR- “vote YES on HF517”), but it’s just as important that they are applauded for listening to us. We’ve posted the email addresses of everyone who voted YES on the bill at the bottom of this page. Please take a minute or two and send them a quick note of thanks.
HF517 is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s been assigned to a subcommittee consisting of Senators Dan Dawson, Janet Peterson and Brad Zaun. As always the Iowa Firearms Coalition will be keeping you up-to-date whenever there’s activity related to pro-gun owner legislation.
Defenders of HF517
During the course of the House debate over HF517 several Representatives gave speeches in support of the bill. It’s important to note that this is not required, all a Representative has to do is vote yes or no, but the following Representatives went out of their way to try to convince their colleagues to vote Yes on HF517. They deserve to be recognized for their willingness to take a stand for pro-gun owner legislation.
- Rep. Shannon Lundgren of Dubuque County – email@example.com
- Rep. Jake Highfill of Polk County – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rep. Skyler Wheeler of Sioux County – email@example.com
- Rep. Steven Holt of Crawford County – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rep. Terry Baxter of Hancock County – email@example.com
- Rep. Matt Windschitl of Harrison County – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rep. Windschitl deserves extra thanks for not only floor managing HF517, he stood for the entire 4+ hour House debate, addressing bogus claims and correcting misleading statements being made by anti-gun owner Representatives.
Also of note, Senators Brad Zaun and Dan Dawson were in and out all afternoon observing the House debate on HF517. Senator Dawson is floor managing the bill over in the Senate. He stayed and watched the entire four-hour debate in the House in preparation for discussion and debate in the Senate. This is very encouraging!
Who Voted Yes on HF517
Send a thank you note to these Iowa Representatives!
EMAIL ADDRESSES OF HF517 YES VOTES:
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